The Apotheosis of Washington is the massive fresco that forms the dome of the rotunda in the United States Capitol Building. It was painted by Constantino Brumidi in 1863, and the huge painting is 4,664 square feet. This painting depicts the elevation of George Washington to a position of preeminence and honor.
This painting plays an important role in The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. In the painting Washington is shown with a purple cloth or blanket on his lap. To his left is the goddess Victory wearing green and blowing a horn. To his right is the goddess Liberty dressed in blue and holding a ceremonial ax.
In one scene of the painting Freedom is shown as a woman wearing a red cape, a golden helmet, silver armor. She is wielding a sword in her right hand and carrying a shield reminiscent of the flag of the United States. To her lower left is a bald eagle carrying arrows in its talons. In the painting Freedom is located just below George Washington.
Opposite Freedom is Commerce in the form of Mercury. Mercury, wearing a winged helmet and winged sandals, holds out a bag of gold for Robert Morris who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Morris helped to finance the Revolutionary War.
The Apotheosis of Washington is located in the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building and is accessible through the United States Capitol Visitor Center located at the intersection of E Capitol Street SE and East Capitol Circle. Click Here for Google Map showing the location of the Visitor Center Entrance to see the Apotheosis of Washington.
Closest Metro Station: The Capitol South Metro Station on the Blue and Orange Lines is nearest to the entrance to the US Capitol Visitor Center, but the Union Station Metro Station on the Red Line is also close. If you’re already on the Red Line you may prefer to walk the extra distance from Union Station in order to avoid having to change to the Blue or Orange Lines in order to get to Capitol South.